Joe and Jason here again. After we had some great response from the community and we are happy that people are talking about how they are re-evaluating the IT in their own companies. Based on our pic, some of our fans have even dubbed us “The heavy hitters of IT.” We appreciate all of the comments, and if you are interested in any topics or simply have any questions make sure to post them in the comments section or send to our e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will also notice our tip of the week, which we will be adding to our weekly blog.
It’s Monday morning. We drive to work, walk in, try to shake off the weekend and that extra Scotch that we knew we shouldn’t have had…but did anyway. We then turn on our computers, and pull up our web-based sales system (or any other site), and find that our Internet traffic is moving about as fast as rush-hour traffic in Spaghetti Junction. It’s a great time for that cup of coffee right? Following our nose to the break room we pass a few offices where we hear that new song that just blew up over the weekend and another where employees are gathering around a monitor making jokes and laughing about the video where a man flips over his bike handlebars and face-plants to the ground. Three minutes later as we return to our office, we experience extreme consternation at the fact that our page is STILL not finished loading. This is not normal. The site is never fast, but it never takes this long.
Welcome to the world of problems presented by limited bandwidth. This issue is brought forth on many fronts, but the biggest issues in most workplaces is that the company either doesn’t have the proper bandwidth to handle the amount of internet traffic that is being utilized, or the internet is being abused in the workplace. As our businesses grow and increase the amount of Internet traffic that they use, many companies don’t think about increasing their bandwidth until they start to see slow downs and loss of information. Calling your provider and requesting a higher-speed connection easily remedies this issue.
Internet abuse is also a big problem in many offices. And, in all honesty, employees often don’t understand the impact that the YouTube video or those Pandora sessions can create. This is due to the fact that these sites actually stream the videos from another computer on the Internet somewhere. It’s a constant stream of information that is flowing in and eating away at the amount of bandwidth available to everyone else. Last week we talked about hiring an IT professional for your business and this is another great example of an issue that a professional can help you with.
A network administrator can be your businesses’ best friend and worst enemy. Although it’s normally unpopular with the employees, the administrator can block sites that employees visit that abuse your network. Many people don’t think about the impact that sites like Facebook and Twitter have on the network that they operate on, but these sites are notorious for being ad-heavy and media-rich. Having one person on those sites is not a big deal, but when the whole office is creeping into the corners of the Internet you are sure to see a lot of increased network traffic. Modern firewalls have the ability to block or prioritize Internet traffic in the office. Prioritizing desired network activity still allows access to unnecessary sites if you don’t want to turn your network into a maximum-security prison. Doing this still maintains the “freedom” of being able to visit social sites.
Finally, if your network is quirky and slow at times and fast at other times, your issue might not be the amount of traffic you have. Viruses, spotty coverage, and other external issues may be the problem, but if you think that your employees are visiting areas that they should not be, make sure to contact your admin. (Or us) and have them put the hammer down.
Overall employees may not be doing anything specifically wrong, but the heartache and cost of a slow Internet can and will, have a great effect on the amount of business that you can accomplish. Take your business back and lock down your network.
*** Tip of the week: What is your password? Is it “Password”? If this is you, we already know your password. Try to use something that people cannot readily guess. Sometimes it can be as easy as using letters and numbers together. Try P@ssW0rd instead.